Zima’s Maltdown

Westword: I figured I was up for some experimentation.
I’m secure in my own identity and all, but I’m also a young guy in his prime. So why not try something a little risque? Truth be told, I was malt-curious. And the Nob Hill Inn on East Colfax Avenue seemed like the perfect place to conduct my own alcohol study: Is it possible for a man to order a Zima in a tough-guy bar and not get his ass kicked? That’s a question that has existed, at least subliminally, within the deeply insecure psyche of the fizzy, mildly-citrusy-alcoholic-beverage industry ever since Coors developed the world’s first “Clearmalt,” back in 1992.
Don’t be misled by its regal title: The Nob Hill Inn is a woefully classic Colfax dive bar that even the hipsters avoid. I’ve grown out my beard, buzzed my head and done push-ups in anticipation. With a beautiful Latina hootchie mama in tow and a short but well-built strong-arm man as backup, I sidle up to the bar.
“I’ll take a Zima,” I say loudly.
“Don’t got it,” answers the bartender, who sports a tattered Bubba Gump Shrimp hat. Two older women at the bar, who look like they spend their nights making out with steel manhole covers on Colfax, start laughing. At me — or at least, at my expense.
So much for experimentation.

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am now head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.